tv Martin Bashir MSNBC December 22, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm EST
>> per good afternoon. i'm richard louie in for martin bashir. here's what's happening. 40 washington, eight lincolns and one obama. they don't think $40 is a lot of money. it can make all the difference in the world. >> the president stands his ground as republicans lose ground and the clock ticks. >> the best thing to happen is to get it over with. >> a lump of coal for 160 million americans. ba humbug. newt and mitt not exactly sharing the christmas spirit. >> we begin with politics. 'tis the season and the 2012 candidates are making a push to voters before the counts begin. we begin with politics in washington. very much hot to the touch with president obama indeed. the president staying behind while the first family vacations
in hawaii. no island hospitality in the best way as the president delivered a message to house republicans about the tax cut about to expire. >> this is it. this is exactly why people get so frustrated with washington. this is not a tip bal democrat versus republican issue. this is an issue where an overwhelming number of people in both parties agree. how can we not get that done? has this place become so dysfunctional that even when people agree to things we can't do it? >> $40 matters to most americans and to the economy. the president argued that. much more than a political bickering. $40, what he spent yesterday on gifts for the first dog. on the pizzas he picked up along the way or the wii game he performed for sacha and malia. $40 like a coat from a major department store or a tank of gas or last food to serve at your holiday table.
$40 is something just about every american can use, but not with the republicans in the house at the moment. absolute in unwilling to strike a deal with a two-month extension. even though mitch mcconnell signed off and wrote two days of silence standing by the deal saying this. there is no reason why congress and the president cannot accomplish all of these things before the end of the year. house republicans sensibly went greater certainly about the provisions while senate democrats want more time to negotiate the terms. these goals are not mutually exclusive. we can and should do both. the house republicans continue to play defense, placing the blame on an action by the controlled senate and president obama. >> we are here and we want to solve the problem. i saw the president out yesterday doing his christmas shopping. he brought his dog with him. we are here. he can bring husband dog up
here. we are pet-friendly. >> it is messy politics, not only funny. even the most prominent recognize this as greater repercussions. the republicans lost the optics on it. bob corker from tennessee said this. >> our republicans are getting killed right now in public opinion. there is no question. both republicans and democrats agreed that this is going to happen. probably the best thing to happen n is just to get it over with. >> with that let's get to mike viquiera at the white house. some might call it a great pr move. the president doing everyday shopping. we are showing the pictures. buying several $40 everyday items as you saw. today it was the same message. $40 is making a difference to americans. he surrounded himself on stage with those who tweeted how important $40 is to them. how did that briefing go?
>> it's very seldom in politics where it's a win-win and all a win for one side or the other. it's hard to argue at this point that the current situation, the current stalemate and the fact that republicans in the house have sort of been caught flatfooted. it is a win-win for the president and don't you know here at the white house they are stepping on the gas, poring gasoline on this public relations fire. it is now surrounding republicans and the president with folk who is have written in this $40 innish they have they had capitalizing on it. we need to remind people to it were to expire, the average median household income is $50,000. if you make that, it would cost but an extra $1,000 in taxes. what is significant about what the president said and the most significant development today by far is this press release by john boehner's republican counterpart in the senate.
the president of the united states can stand up on national television and use one republican leader against another that sends a strong message. this is not about john boehner. this is about the folks that of mostly freshmen in the house of representatives and all of them conservative and affiliated who are angry about the way this went down. having mitch mcconnell and having him use that against them might move them off the mark. at this point it's all up in the air and nobody knows when that is going to happen. not to mention a bigger tax bill for most americans. >> a democratic president supporting what mitch mcconnell was saying. it's clear where the divide is. this means you necessary washington. the president is in washington. last year you were in hawaii with the president. what does this mean for the president? what will his christmas holiday be like? >> we were here last christmas having the president having to delay his escape from town as well as members that happened at
the last minute. it could happen. it still could happen and there could be agreement whether it's the two-month senate bill. that's how most businesses plan. john boehner put out a tweet reminding people of that. the president and his family obviously in hawaii has said he will stay here until this is resolved. they are being coy about that here at the white house whether the president will go or not. that's where things stand at the moment. >> in advance of that whether you go to hawaii, mele kalikimaka. >> that's the thing to say. >> the lines have been drawn and there is little doubt that the house republicans are very much villain. jim moran of virginia, great to see you again. >> great to see you. i enjoy the introduction. i got a chance to talk for a
little bit with the president who dropped by and a working class neighborhood in the congressional district to pick up pizza. he's not in a happy mood. he wants to be with his family for christmas which is where he ought to be. i have to tell you, he is standing tall and tough on this. he is our leader. that's what a leader does. >> a lot of things are changing just within the last 24 hours, i want to share a tweet we just got ahold of from the speaker. this is about him floating that word quarterly this morning. i'm not sure if you saw his briefing, but he is alluding to how businesses that he was talking about do their accounting on a quarterly basis. he tweeted this and said the senate bill only goes for two months, but businesses send in their taxes every three. employers will face costly reporting requirements. this echoes what he said this morning and echoes what was said by one of the negotiators on
cnbc. is this the latest trial blan they are putting up? >> it is. john sees life through the eyes of the business community. nothing wrong with that, but the president sees this issue through the eyes of working class americans. we had a tweet today from somebody in a very different position. a young mother who told us that $40 is what it costs her for infant formula for her children. because she had the payroll tax cut last year, she has been able to save up enough now to buy christmas gifts for her children. seems to me that's what's most important f. john wants to change that from two months to three months, that's fine. nobody is going to object to that. >> you are saying you would sign off on that? >> of course. we are going to sign off on anything in the best interest of working class americans.
you mentioned that the average income is $55,000. it was $61,000 in 2000 when the bush administration took over. they lost income. the president is trying to restore a little bit of their purchasing power so we can get the economy back on their feet. that's what this is all about. >> it's up to $2200 that will be lost for the households that makeover $120,000. this is real money. another one of the trial balloons was leader mcconnell. what he said and i shared with folks at the top of this introduction, the top of the house here, he was alluding to how he was open at least for now to looking at another option to say that they should sign off on the house bill right now, that's what he was saying and on the flip side, the president should
sit down and discuss the one-year extension. that's different than what you speaker has been saying. >> absolutely. senator mcconnell is a pro and wants to get things done and understands that politics is out of compromise. the house republicans seem to be leaderless and rudderless. this week "the washington post" reported that they spent most of their time invoking the image of wallace in brave heart. saying hold, hold, hold, hold. they all got excited about themselves holding it from the payroll tax cut. the fallacy on that is that wallace and his country men were fighting for the rights of the peasants who were being exploited by the elite nobility. of course they might reflect on the fact that they all got massacre and the leader was drawn and i don't wish that for
my friend john boehner, but this may not come to a good end for them. particularly when the republicans are so divide and clearly senator mcconnell knows what he's doing and trying to get the republicans on the right side of the issue. >> congressman, they are saying the optics are not good. that sort of hints towards a relationship between majority leader kantor and speaker boehner. much of the past has been tough for them and an uneasy relationship at times. what do you think here? when we look at your fellow virginian here, as he starts to pile on speaker boehner, what when is this like? what is the relationship at the moment? >> it would be presumptuous of me to suggest to the house republican leadership, but gosh sake, if you have chosen a leader and when he makes a deal with the president, you ought to support him. when he makes a deal with the senate majority leader, you ought to support him and instead
they don't. apparently from what i understand, eric kantor is with them to undermine the leadership of the speaker. that's not going to come to any good end and the fact is that the position of the house republicans has been rejected by a majority of the senate republicans. they have a bipartisan compromise where the majority supported it. they can't come up with the votes to pass it? who speaks for the republican party? clearly it's none of the house republican presidential candidates. they don't know where they are. they are trying to figure out what direction the political wind is blowing in. i don't know who speaks for the republican party. i know who speaks for the american people. that is our leader president obama. >> good to see you as always.
next, bush breaks for romney, but newt still wants to talk. >> if he wants to test the heat, i will meet him anywhere in iowa next week, one on one, 90 minutes and o with no moderator. i will be glad to debate him anywhere. just one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day helps defends against occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating. with three strains of good bacteria to help balance your colon. you had me at "probiotic." [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health.
hopefully if i'm still part of the process, i am going to keep respecting the others and debating on the schedule that we have. >> that response came after the two exchanged jabs over the ads against newt in warks. >> if you can't handle the heat in this little kitchen, the heat that comes from obama's hell kitchen is hotter. >> i will debate him anywhere. >> gingrich is in virginia scrambling to get on the ballot in that battle ground state. friday is the deadline to qualify for the march sixth primary. let's get to our guest, crystal ball. thank you for being with us. >> my pleasure. >> let's start with this. i want to get to the wars in a second, but we have breaking news. you heard about that. we have heard that george h.w. bush, the former president is saying that mitt romney is mature and reasonable and not a
bomb-thrower. at the moment he is going to endorse him. what do you make of this? >> i love the phrasing that mature and reasonable and not a bomb thrower. he may as well say unlike some other candidates whose names rhyme with boot. it's a nice christmas present for him. he has been winning all along and the establishments have been lining up behind him and any time they endorse you, that's a positive development. >> let's look at the ad battle in the last couple of days. can gingrich claim to be so a fronted by the negative ads he makes it a point whenever he is in front of the microphone to say i don't like these ads, but he knows he has the most to lose in a mud fight? >> absolutely. newt gingrich in many ways originated the negative nasty partisan campaigning that we see
these days. it is a bit of a strategy and not only does he have the most to lose, but no money to respond. of course newted love for them to continue to have a love fest and clearly that's not going to happen. the fact of the matter is, people claim to hate negative ads, but they work. you see that in what's happening to newt gingrich's numbers. >> we are counting down the days before we do see an on slaud of negative ads in iowa. they have been focusing on the issue from the romney campaign featuring ann romney. >> if you want to know how a person will operate, look how they lived their life. that's why it's important to understand the character of a person. >> how much is that a jab that
we were leading to earlier? even a jab at calista. >> it's interesting that the phrasing is similar to the bush endorsement. remember in iowa the fact that governor romney is mormon is an issue fiduciary him. having ann romney making the case that this is a guy who is say family man. he is someone you can relate to and has strong character. both serves to take a subtle jab and to build romney up as someone they can trust and relate to. >> that is one of the debate points, character in the coming days. a shift away from the other themes that we have been hearing? >> that's likely especially as we approach the christmas holidays and the holiday season. there is a danger with the blatantly negative attacks and that's the other reason why this is good.
a soft attack and it's not direct. he will be driving the conversation the way he wants it to go. gingrich and the others. how important will they be going forward. in the campaign in iowa and new hampshire. mitt romney used ann romney. they say that people have trouble relating to him. he a wife and his religion is part of that. he used her smartly at this point and we also see anita perry as well. it ties back into family and the fact that these are family men and people who are like folks in that iowa.
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jobs and those a posed say serious environmental concerns exist. as few as 50 permanent jobs will be created in the end. the house on tuesday rejected a senate plan that include add i provision forcing president obama to decide on the pipeline within 60 days. the president wants to put off the decision until after the election. this story was written for the rolling stone and how to cool the planet and big coal. thanks for being here. before we get into the merits of the pipeline, what are your thoughts and how do you think congress will be looking at this issue of the pipeline? will it be in the deal in the end? >> it's hard to say where we will be in the end. it's in a difficult position now because i think the house republicans realize that they sort of made a mistake in the policy writer to this legislation and one of the problems with this writer is that it forces the obama
administration to rush the environmental review. shortly after the republicans made this move, the senate or state department came out and said we can't do it in 60 days. it's pretty much putting the pipeline in a position of being killed. it backfired on them. >> attached to a bill that doesn't seem to have a similar theme here as you alluded to. a lot of people asking about that. we want to read for you part of a statement from mitch mcconnell that reads this. the house should pass an extensions that locks in thousands of keystone xl pipeline jobs. allows congress to work on a solution for the longer extensions. you write that the entire project is a boone dogle and propped up by industry lobbying, you say, as well as corrupt
science. >> the jobs of course is the issue that everyone is talking about now and the main selling point for office. they are building the pipeline and talking about 20,000 new jobs and that was based on a side that even the company itself suggested was wrong they suggested that the real jobs would be in the neighborhood of 2,000 or 3,000. >> i was reading and they were saying at least in their analysis with the environmental impact, the incremental when we look at the billions of gallons of gas and unemployed across the country, with that all is the
background. does it get built? >> i don't know. in the long-term, a lot of oil and we in america has a voracious appetite for it. despite the things that have been don the standards and things, we haven't done a good job of cutting back and until we do cut the amount of gas we consume, the pipelines are going to get built. >> jeff, thank you so much. appreciate it. stay with us. the day's top lines are coming up. >> i saw the president out yesterday doing his christmas shopping and saw he brought his dog with him. we are here and he didn't bring his dog up here. we are pet-friendly. just one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day
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>> if you want to know ho a person will operate, looka the how they lived their life. >> i will be glad to debate him. i'm happy. i will go in the kitchen. >> is it legitimate? is it a legitimate question to ask that some people go out? >> when you get the answer that's legitimate that you take the answers i get? >> goodbye. >> all right, all right. thank you, congressman. >> the republicans are losing this fight. >> this is a barack obama, harry reid deliberately deceptive strategy for political gain that is disheartened to see them turn us into a third world country. >> republicans are getting killed right now in approximately opinion. there is no question. are we on a bad path as it relates to public policy? no question. >> let's get right to it with our political panel in washington.
political white house reporter joe william, welcome to both do menno. he said that rick crawford is calling to o speaker baner to have an up or down vote on the senate payroll tax cut compromise that was passed by 89 senators in the bipartisan vote here. this is a crack here. he is one of the negotiators that they called to debate this in conference. what do you think? >> look, i have seen for a few days now that republicans outside of the house want this overwith. they don't want to see press conferences like president obama's where he is surrounding himself with the middle class voters trying to look like the uniter and slamming washington. everybody is in campaign mode and this is all politics. they are on the losing side of this thing and they want this
overwith. >> this is obviously a development that has been progressing throughout today. there is a second congressman, congressman duffy who is saying that a vote should be had on the floor. what do you think? >> it's not surprising that there had to be cracks given the fact that the white house and others were turning up the pressure. even mitch mcconnell were dialling it up against speaker baber to try to get a deal done here. what is surprising to me is the fact that it's taken to long. >> we expect to see more congress men from the house and the gop said here falling in line with what we are learning the last couple of minutes. they will have a vote on the floor and on this measure coming from the senate? >> we will see what happens. senator mcconnell who is the minority leader, it takes a lot for them to feel like they didn't have the trust. they felt like they had a deal, they are saying look, let's get
this payroll tax and do this temporarily. let's talk about a year. be able to save face and get this done. nobody wants to have to say taxes went up come december 31st. if they do, at this point it looks like republicans think it could be them who are blamed. i think you are probably going to see something that will get done on this sooner rather than later. >> we are watching the snowballs and it gets bigger and big or this thursday as it comes up to christmas. a big win for the president and exactly what he wanted. >> for you talk to the white house, they won't call it a win. keep in mind they are in a bad economy and things are quite fragile and if this deal doesn't get done, we could be looking at a downturn. they have a stake in the out come here. also the white house knows that this is a moment that they can show the president is willing to fight for the middle class and something he has been talking
about for several months now. also you need to keep in mind that this could be some measure of pay back if you will. karmic pay back for the protest for the demonstrations we saw in 2009 where the tea party came in and the white house was very much stunned by that. you have a situation where they are willing to let the republicans die by the sort. >> again, learning just within the last five minutes and two congress men asking for an up and down vote. tea again. >> coming up in the next hour, stay with us. more on what's happening on cap hol hill. >> enough is enough. people standing with me today can't afford any more games. they can't afford to lose $1,000 because of some ridiculous washington standoff. we're kind of a quiet couple.
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they are in washington and ready to work. the senate is passing a measure that would extend holidays by two months. one of the senators is robert casey, a democrat from pennsylvania who joins me now. if you have been watch organization lynching in the last 15 minutes, we had a lot of developing news on the dam that could be breaking or leaking at the moment as we heard two congress men saying and tea party one of them say thag should vote, asking speaker boehner to take that vote to the floor and vote up or down. any surprises there for you? >> we had a couple of days of uncertainty when people are heading into the holidays.
the least we can do is off certainty. one of the best ways as it relates to the economy and their lives and people are living tough lives in this economy. that will say we will pass a payroll tax cut. i'm happy there is progress today, but i will be happier and the american people will have certainty when this vote gets done, the house republicans should vote and get this done and give people certainty at least on a payroll tax cut for two months as well as unemployment insurance. i hope that the developments lead in that direction. >> as i was mentioning after two days of notable absence, mitch mcconnell issuing a statement, standing by the senate deal today, a little bit of a break from what speaker boehner has been saying. take a look at what president obama said in reaction to that. that are this is not just my view. a few hours ago this is exactly
what the republican leader of the senate said we should do. democrats agreed with the republicans in the leader of the senate and we should go ahead and get this done. >> senate minority leader making that statement to say go ahead and vote on that senate bill that was passed. did that surprise you when you saw him break from speaker boehner? >> when you have the leader of the senate what they have understood, there is a consensus. there is a compromise and it's 89-10. that's a good indicator that we are on the right path to giving americans a sense before the holidays are completed. at a minimum they are going to have the opportunity in the next year if we keep working beyond
the two months to get not just the two-month deal, but a deal for the year, they will have $1,000 in their pocket to spend that they wouldn't have otherwise. we need to work towards that goal. i am hopeful that the republicans and the house have been hearing a lot about that compromise that we heard about. >> what are has the speaker been hearing in the house? that's the question. when it first came out that speaker boehner said that the house would not vote on the senate-approved bill that, put into question that relationship between leader mcconnell and leader boehner. what do you know about the relationship as we know the respects about being on the rocks and a tough uneasy relationship. >> i'm not sure i can inform you about that relationship. i don't know. i do think that most americans see this in a brought perspective. not who is up or down, but about their own lives and whether or not washington will come on a
basic issue for middle income families and making sure i am hoping the house republicans are seeing that when they heard the consensus which is refleblthed in the senate bill. >> happy holidays and thank you very much for joining us today. >> thanks, richard. >> now to brian sul swloon has the market wrap for us. >> street signs on cnbc. the things are improving and we have more evidence of that today. we are seeing jobless claims come in low, the lowest in more than two years and sentiment rises to a six-month high. that added to all the optimism that is growing, but slowly. the dow of 55 points and the s&p and nasdaq higher as well. 300 points on the dow jones. a santa claus rally and the dow
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the white house today strongly condemned a wave of 16 coordinated bombings across baghdad today that left at least 69 people dead and 169 injured. the obama administration says the violence will not derail iraq's progress, but the massive bombings have stoked new fears of a spike of sectarian violence in the wake of the last u.s. combat forces leaving iraq just last week. retired u.s. army colonel jack jacobs is an u.s. military analyst and a recipient of the medal of honor. colonel, always good to have you here when we have situations like this. these explosions, these coordinated attacks, are you surprised by what you're hearing today?
>> thouno, and i don't think an else was either. there's been a series of events, then al maliki decide he's not going to share power anymore, and not surprissurprisingly, al and iraq, the sunni, skperveand everyone else who wants is going to explode bombs and it continues. this is not one little point, it's going to be a graph of those. >> colonel, at what point does it become so concerning, though, for the obama administration that they may consider, may start talking about, if they haven't already, start talk about returning booting on the ground there? >> we always have a plan to put boots on the ground in a lot of different places. we have plans to respond to all kinds of attacks and all sorts of contingencies, everywhere around the world. but this is an election year. the president of the united states has made a big deal out of getting out of southwest asia, and i would be astonished if we send lots -- if we have another surge like we had last -- i'll be astonished if we
have another one. >> you've commanded troops, obviously, in the past here. there are 16,000 u.s. troops on the ground there in iraq right now. would you be concerned about them in this situation? we're seeing so many coordinated attacks at a single time. >> well, all of our uniformed troops have left. what we've got left here are our contractors, by and large. we do have some marines who were in the green zone, who are guarding the embassy. by the way, largest american embassy anywhere in the world. 102 acres in the middle of baghdad. yeah, we're very much concerned about it. we'll just have to get much better at intelligence and we're not there yet. >> all right. you know, one of the items that kept the sunni air rarabs, the minority was the vote that kept them from violence. they were behind the large insurgency that the americans were facing years back. now going forth, what will satisfy those insurgents? >> i think nothing. other than power sharing and a bigger say in what goes on than
they've got now. and quite frankly, a bigger say in what goes on than what they're going to have. al maliki and the shia are serious. i think the sunni are out and they're going to stay out. and not only that, they don't have any access to aioil, the money for oil like the kurds to in the north and the shia do in the south. i think the sunni are going to keep making things very, very difficult for al maliki, and so are al qaeda in iraq. i think it's going to get worse than better? >> add in al maliki's number two is fighting with his number one, or al maliki himself. >> politics on top of that, bad news all the way around. >> colonel jack jacobs, thank you very much. >> you're welcome. we've got some breaking news for you. a possible christmas miracle. stay with us. [ male announcer ] tom's discovering that living healthy can be fun.
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iver got some breaking news on capitol hill about a possible vote from house republicans. for more on this, let's go right to nbc's luke russert who's on capitol hill for us. what are you hearing right now, luke? >> reporter: good afternoon, richard. really in the last half hour, another outlet reported there's possibly a way forward here on the payroll tax cut extension that perhaps speaker of the house john boehner would allow the senate bill to be passed by unanimous consent on the house floor, and possibly that would go over to the senate, under e thesthe us a pass they would go into conferree. frank thorpe, our producer, is also reporting that at 5:00 p.m., the house gop conference is going to have a conference call. that's important, because that means every single member is going to get on there, they're obviously going to hear some member from speaker bayner and
the leadership. the last time they had a conference call, richard, is when speaker boehner had to pull back and this is where we are now. the fact that there's a conference call at 5:00 p.m. leads us to believe that some explanation from boehner will be going out to his members about what the next step forward is going to be, and from conversations around the hill, it looks like there's some agreement that could be reached as early as tonight or maybe tomorrow as the fall out from this politically has been very damaging to the house gop brand, richard. >> so what's your hunch here? >> reporter: well, the hunch is that if you have this 5:00 p.m. conference call, expect -- this is all speculation, mind you -- but expect john boehner to say to his members, look, this is the situation we're in now. the senate is not going to come back. you have "the wall street journal," you have karl rove, you have a lot of -- mitch mcconnell, essentially saying, look, take a step back, do the two-month deal and we'll work together to try to get it for the rest of the year.
also important news, richard. two freshman members, sean duffy of wisconsin representative crawford of arkansas, who were both in democratic districts that got elected, they were a part of this saying, fight, fight, they have gone back and said, let the bill go to the senate floor. constituents don't get all the stuff about conferrees, people want to see results. and the quickest and the best way to get results is to pass the senate's two-month compromise. >> luke, thank you so much. the breaking news, a possible vote there in the house. we'll be watching that. luke will be reporting for us. thanks for watching. i'm richard lui in for martin bashir. dylan ratigan here to take us forward. a lot going on. >> tom brokaw and bernie sanders, our first two esteemed guests this afternoon to talk through the current shenanigans and the broader effort to deal with some of the structural reform that is clearly already beginnin